After working his way up from chef de partie to junior sous chef and then sous chef, Stephen Connolly has been appointed head chef at the Dalata Hotel Group-owned three-star Maldron Hotel Portlaoise.
Statement By Connolly
Connolly stated, "Ever since I was a child I have always had a keen interest in cooking and when I was in my transition year I did work experience in a number of places, one being a Renault garage another in a bike shop but my final placement was as a kitchen assistant in a small pub on Mill Street in Dublin called the Tenters.
"It was working here that really sparked my love for hospitality and after that experience I actively worked towards entering the industry.
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"At Dalata I have gone from strength to strength working hard and making my way up through the ranks. I have used my time actively upskilling by attending and applying for courses that are available within the company."
Additional Statements By Connolly
Connolly, who has completed several courses through the Dalata Academy including advanced culinary management, menu development, allergen awareness for head chefs and all HACCP related courses as well as first aid for mental health, also stated, "I am passionate about preparing and developing menus and specials as well as delivering beautiful food on a daily basis.
"A typical day for me would be arriving to work and beginning by speaking with the team about how the morning has gone and the business on the books for the day and week ahead.
"I also link in with different departments about various inquiries and bookings as well as taking care of orders, monitoring stock levels and ensuring the kitchen is in a good working manner.
"I'll also make a point of speaking to the chefs to ensure they have all they need to smoothly get through the days."
Connolly, who away from work enjoys a round of golf when he can find the time, added, "Away from work, I am most happy just spending time with my family, my wife Megan and two sons, Cole who is four and Cahl who is just five months", and said, "I would say if you have a passion, then go for it. This is genuinely such a diverse and equal opportunity industry. You get out what you put in.
"For those willing to work hard, I can honestly say you will be rewarded and with the Dalata Academy, you are supported as you grow your career through training and development."
© 2022 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.